The pitch in the third Test between India and England in Ahmedabad became a major talking point after the day-night match ended inside two days, and it was also the major focus in India captain Virat Kohli’s press conference ahead of the fourth and final game of the series, which will also be held at the same venue. Kohli hit out at the criticism of spinning pitches, saying there is “too much noise about spinning tracks”. He was also asked what must be done to ensure that Test matches don’t end in two-three days, and came up with a stern response.
“Do you play the game to win it or to make sure it goes to five days and there is entertainment?” he quipped.
Kohli maintained that the skill of the batsmen should be looked at more than conditions, and said that his team never cribbed while playing in seaming tracks abroad.
“I believe there is too much noise about spinning tracks,” Kohli said.
“The reason behind our success as a team is that we haven’t cribbed about any surface we have played on. We have always tried to improve,” he continued.
“I am sure if our media is in a space to contradict those views or present views which say that it is unfair to criticise only spin tracks, then it will be a balanced a conversation,” Kohli argued.
“But the unfortunate bit is everyone plays along with that narrative and keeps making it news till the time it is relevant. And then a Test match happens, if you win on day 4 or 5, no one says anything but if it finishes in two days, everyone pounces on the same issue,” he added.
“I am sure even our people never wrote about the pitch when we lost in three days in New Zealand,” the skipper said.
“It has always been the case that spinning tracks are criticised but when the ball seams a lot and teams are bundled out for 40-50, no one talks about it,” the India captain said.
Asked again if the Test community needed to look at the fact that surfaces generally give home teams an advantage, Kohli said “Would be lovely if you ask us this when we are on an England, Australia or New Zealand tour, not right after we have won on two spinning tracks at home.”
India currently lead the series 2-1. The fourth Test at the Narendra Modi Stadium is set to begin on Thursday.
Topics mentioned in this article